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(15,591 posts)
Mon Nov 20, 2023, 05:52 PM Nov 20

Appeals court sides with Arkansas federal judge on restricting Voting Rights Act lawsuits

November 20, 20231:14 pm

A federal appellate court today affirmed a judge’s dismissal of a lawsuit challenging Arkansas’s new maps for state legislative districts, a ruling that could have widespread consequences for voting rights in the U.S.

The case pits the NAACP and the Arkansas Public Policy Panel — two “advocacy groups,” as the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals collectively refers to them — against the state of Arkansas’s Board of Apportionment, which is made up of the governor, the attorney general and the secretary of state. The board is responsible for redrawing the lines for state Senate and House districts every ten years.

The advocacy groups contended that the 2021 apportionment maps diluted minority voters’ votes through a combination of “packing” (drawing lines that concentrate a cohesive political group into a limited number of districts) and “cracking” (dividing members of a cohesive political group among several districts), thus discriminating against minority voters. They sued under Section 2 of the federal Voting Rights Act, the landmark 1965 civil rights legislation meant to keep states from disenfranchising Black and other minority voters.

In February 2022, U.S. District Judge Lee Rudofsky of Little Rock dismissed the case, but he never reached the underlying merits of the case. Instead, the judge determined that private citizens cannot sue under Section 2 of the VRA. Such a case can only be brought with involvement from the federal Department of Justice, Rudofsky said, despite the fact that individuals and voting-rights groups have long sued to enforce the federal law.



Appeals court sides with Arkansas federal judge on restricting Voting Rights Act lawsuits (Original Post) LiberalArkie Nov 20 OP
It's worth seeing who the judges are in this case. euphorb Nov 20 #1
Yep... LiberalArkie Nov 20 #2
The 5th Circuit (MS, LA, TX) decided the opposite last week. LetMyPeopleVote Nov 20 #3
Republicans will do anything to block minority voting rights. LetMyPeopleVote Nov 22 #4


(263 posts)
1. It's worth seeing who the judges are in this case.
Mon Nov 20, 2023, 05:58 PM
Nov 20

The underlying District Court opinion is by Judge Rudofsky, a Tump appointee.

The appellate decision was 2-1. The dissent was by the Chief Judge, Judge Smith, appointed by G. W. Bush.

The main decision was by Judge Gruender, appointed by G. W. Bush, and Judge Stras, appointed by Trump.


(138,842 posts)
3. The 5th Circuit (MS, LA, TX) decided the opposite last week.
Mon Nov 20, 2023, 06:58 PM
Nov 20


Lawsuit filed on behalf of voters and civil rights groups challenging Louisiana’s new congressional map. The complaint points out that, even though Black residents make up one-third of Louisiana’s population, they can only elect their candidate of choice in one out of the six congressional districts. The plaintiffs argue that, by failing to include a second minority opportunity district, this new congressional map dilutes the voting strength of Black residents in violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA). Because of this, the plaintiffs ask the court to block the map and order the creation of a new map that includes a second minority opportunity district in compliance with the VRA. The case was consolidated with Galmon v. Ardoin.

On June 6, 2022, a preliminary injunction was granted blocking the congressional map for the 2022 election cycle, which the defendants immediately appealed. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals granted an administrative stay (meaning pause) of the district court’s order, but three days later vacated the administrative stay and denied the motion to stay pending appeal.
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